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Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4

Posted by GG Goblin On October - 24 - 2018

Back to Blops.

I remember when Call of Duty: Black Ops was first announced and “Blops” became a thing. Now, Treyarch have released their fourth entry in the Blops series, and things have changed. An old friend is no where to be seen, while there is a new, slightly rowdy guy on the block, making all sorts of noise.

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So, let’s begin by saluting a fallen comrade in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Farewell, single player campaign. You will be missed, especially by players like myself who have sloth-like reflexes and actually enjoyed being on the winning team. But hang on, what’s that hiding behind multiplayer? Is that Specialist HQ?

So, Treyarch may have dropped the single player glory of a campaign, but almost in an attempt to at least offer the less multiplayer-able gamers something interesting, there is the Specialist HQ, a set of tutorial missions that actually offer some kind of story. Black Ops 4’s multiplayer game mode is centred around specialists, giving players access to distinct classes that come with their own skills and abilities in battle, and the Specialist HQ is where players get to learn about them. There are ten missions to play through, with each of the specialist classes covered, and they are actually quite fun, each offering a little dose of story and even humour while teaching the player. Don’t get overly excited though, this is in no way a replacement for the missing in action campaign, but it is a nice little extra that sets the player up perfectly for the meat of the game, the multiplayer matches.

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Black Ops 4 very much feels like it is a game that is made to be popular, mostly by taking inspiration from a couple of other popular games at the moment. This is at first apparent with the Specialists in the multiplayer game, with a healthy nod towards Overwatch. While there are still all manner of customisation options for the player to tinker with, trying to make their fighter that little bit more effective in battle, the specialist abilities that come with the classes make the game more familiar. Each class comes with two abilities that work on a cooldown timer, with one being more powerful and requiring a longer charge time than the other. These abilities, such as a special grenade to use, or being able to pull out a riot shield, don’t change things dramatically, but they do make the multiplayer that little bit more playful.

When it comes to the multiplayer modes, all of the usual suspects are there, from domination to team deathmatch. For Black Ops 4, there are two new modes, each of which I think is a worthy addition. Control is perhaps the less inspired of the two, charging players with either attacking or defending a specific point on the map. The twist here is that there are limited lives for each team. Heist mode is another example of taking inspiration from elsewhere. In this mode, players are charged with grabbing cash and getting it back to a drop point. There is no respawning, and matches are generally over quite quickly. However, the twist here is that each successive round, the player will have more money for buying better weapons, mods or perks. It’s also worth remembering to pick up a health kit at the start of the round, as healing is now a manual thing in Black Ops 4, and it’s not a good look to be crawling around on the floor, desperately trying to reach a health kit before whoever shot you comes in for the final kill. Heist is a blast, but both modes bring further variety for players.

Zombies mode returns, as if there was ever any doubt, challenging players to work together to survive wave after wave of zombies, just for the fun of it. For Black Ops 4, perhaps again to make up for the lack of campaign, Treyarch are offering the largest Zombie mode ever at launch. Understanding that some players have never really gelled with the Zombie mode, and just can’t work out what the hell is going on, the developers have given the player choices in how the game mode plays out, including a tutorial and the chance to make the mode easier. With progression that allows players to unlock new stuff as they play, and the chance to escape the dead in a Roman arena, on a doomed cruise ship, or Alcatraz prison, there is plenty of reason to play the new Zombies mode.

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But, let’s face it, we are all here to see the newcomer. With the frankly breathtaking success of games like Fortnite and PUBG, it is no real surprise that Treyarch would want to cover all of their bases and drop in a Battle Royale mode for Black Ops 4. Blackout, as it is known, will feel very familiar to anyone who has played any Battle Royale game, although it really does lean more towards the grittier PUBG style than the silliness of Fortnite. One hundred players parachute down onto a large map, with nothing but a smile on their face and a head full of hopes and dreams, and then find weapons and equipment, and fight it out to become the last man, or squad, standing. The map gradually decreases in size, forcing players to move closer and closer to each other, keeping the action going as the numbers dwindle. It’s compelling stuff, and great fun. But it has all been done before, so many times.

For Blackout, the developers have mostly kept to a traditional experience in which running across the countryside, heading for that abandoned building in the hope of finding some cool gear, and suspiciously eyeing that bunch of trees because it looked like something moved, is where all the fun can be found. However, there are a few twists in the formula. There are some fun new toys to play with, such as the grapple hook, and even some perks that can be equipped to make life interesting. There are a wide range of easy to use vehicles, including helicopters, that are great for covering the distance of the map, and mods can be found to customise weapons, making the game a little more individual. Oh, and there may also be some zombies, perhaps guarding the more desirable gear, further spicing things up. It’s no huge change from the Battle Royale formula, but it does give the mode a solid Call of Duty flavour that should please the fans of the game along with the Battle Royale hardcore.

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There was always the risk that by dropping the campaign, this latest Call of Duty would feel light on content. The move to a multiplayer only package was perhaps inevitable, but it is still quite shocking for those of us who came back year after year for the story. However, the resulting game is actually crammed with content, and the new Blackout mode actually feels much less harsh than the usual multiplayer modes for those with slower reflexes. The Zombies mode is chunky and inviting, and even the new modes for multiplayer bring something interesting to the game. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 may be a little different than those that came before, but it is still a game of three parts, and each part is exceptionally well polished and fun to play. There are plenty of other single player games out there, but Black Ops 4 is the place to be for multiplayer shooter fun.




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